While the trend these days seems for action figures to be getting smaller (so many lines have shrunk down into the 1/18th scale), during the mid 90s the trend was to continually make action figures larger. The Marine is a tall (almost 6 3/4 inches), bulky figure that wouldn't feel out of place alongside NECA's Gears of War figures. Since he was based off of a video game, and an older game at that, the style is quite "animated" and there was a lot of translation that had to be done transitioning the figure from the game to a 3-D plastic representation.
The biggest indicator that tells us this figure was released in the pre-Marvel Legends era is the articulation that consists entirely of cut joints. The Marine features hinged knees, swivel hips, a swivel waist, swivel shoulders, bicep swivels, wrist swivels, and a swivel neck. While the prevalence of all swivel joints and no ball joints would seem poor by today's standards, back in the late 90's this wasn't as big of a deal, and I imagine most collectors would be pretty happy with the Marine's articulation. While he has the bicep swivels, his elbows are sculpted in "bent" positions, meaning that the swivels do change the pose quite drastically. With his swivel wrists, he can hold the included weapons a few different ways, always a nice feature.
Despite being an older figure, the sculpt is still really, really detailed and would have been even more impressive at the time of its release. Decked out in a body suit and covered with various pieces of armor, the Marine is covered with a wealth of details. From the treads on the bottom of his boots to the textured grip on the palms of his gloves, Resaurus didn't leave any of this figure barren. The armored bits certainly tell a story, as numerous bullet holes, scuffs, and slices can be seen in the armor. Even the Marine has taken some damage, as his sleeves are completely ripped off and his left arm has been hastily bandaged. The armor seems to be pretty functional and made for combat, as the gloves have armored plating on the outside, the thigh pieces look to have some type of piston system, perhaps to aid in movement, and the back of the figure features an elaborate electronics system (perhaps this is a shield unit of some kind?) and what appears to be an oxygen tank. While he's armed with a wealth of weapons (keep reading) the Marine does have a bandolier of three grenades strapped to his right arm. The head sculpt is probably the most dated piece of the sculpt. It's certainly not bad, but it definitely has the extreme style of something from the 90's. The Marine's steely grimace is pretty effective, though.
Last, but certainly not least, is the cybernetic shark. A result of the Strogg taking animals and manipulating them, the shark looks like your average small shark, but he's covered with additional spiked fins, barbs on his tail, and a metal endoskeleton that is often popping through his flesh. While he is made of a bendable material (only his tail can be posed, though) the sculpt is sharp and detailed. Small details like wounds, gills, and the rows of sharp teeth are all very crisp. The paint job is also excellent. Just look at the picture! This guy has as impressive of a sculpt and paint job as many figures released today. Resaurus definitely delivered on the accessories here.
This was very much an impulse buy at a comic store in Asheville, NC (Pastimes), and I paid less than $4 dollars for it. Knowing what I know now, had this figure been on a shelf for $15, I still would have picked it up. While in so many ways action figures have gotten more impressive in the 14 years since this figure was released, there have been ways in which they've gone backwards, too. In trying to judge this figure today, I'd still give it a great. Despite the reduced articulation, everything else about it is incredibly impressive and designed to be both fun and a nice display piece. Since we're in the Action Figure Time Machine, though, my final judgment is basing this off of other figures from 1999. If so, this figure would easily be Confirmed: Epic. If you're interested in older action figures or video game pieces, snag this guy online or at a toy show for a few bucks. He's definitely worth it. And he comes with a cybernetically enhanced shark. Word.
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